While Spider-Man is the most-known superhero that’s based on a bug (although biologically speaking, arachnids aren’t bugs, but you get the point), the most-known duo is arguably Ant-Man and his partner Wasp. Both of these superheroes first appeared in the early 1960s, although several different characters donned those masks in the Marvel Multiverse. So, in this article, we’ll go through all the characters that were Ant-Man and the Wasp throughout history, and we’ll determine if these two superheroes were ever husband and wife.
In the Marvel Comics canon, the original Ant-Man and the Wasp were Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, who were indeed a married couple, and they were portrayed as such in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer play them. In the comics, the second Ant-Man was Scott Lang, who is also depicted as the second Ant-Man in the MCU. However, in Wasp’s case, Janet’s successor in comics was Nadia Van Dyne, Hank’s daughter from his first marriage and Janet’s stepdaughter. In the MCU, the second Wasp was Hope Van Dyne, an original character who is Hank and Janet’s daughter.
In the entire history of Marvel Comics, there have been several different characters who donned the mantle of Ant-Man and the Wasp, although the introduction of Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man popularized Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. While Janet Van Dyne was known as the only Wasp for decades after her introduction, she also got successors in both comics and the MCU. In the rest of this article, we’ll go through every generation of Ant-Man and the Wasp, starting with the original couple, Hank and Janet.
The history of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne as Ant-Man and the Wasp
As we said before, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were the original couple known as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby, Hank Pym first appeared in Marvel’s ‘Tales to Astonish’ #27 in January 1962, although he didn’t become Ant-Man until the 35th issue in September of the same year. As his story developed, Hank Pym assumed the mantles of Giant-Man in the 49th issue of the same series in November 1963 and Goliath in ‘The Avengers’ #28 in May 1966.
Janet Van Dyne was introduced not long after Hank Pym became Ant-Man. Created by Stan Lee, Ernie Hart, and Jack Kirby, the character was first introduced in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #44 in June 1963. That was only a year and a half after Hank Pym first appeared in the comics. Along with Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp were the founding members of the Avengers.
Before he became Ant-Man, Hank Pym was married to Maria Trovaya, who was a political dissident in her native Hungary. Hank naively believed that she would be safe with her acquired American citizenship after they married, so they traveled to Hungary, where they were attacked by the secret police, who knocked Hank unconscious and murdered Maria. That event inspired Hank to devote his life’s work to the fight against injustice.
Hank and Janet first crossed paths when the scientist Vernon Van Dyne, Hank’s colleague and Janet’s father, was killed by the Kosmosian criminal Pilai. Hank revealed his secret identity as Ant-Man to her, and she wished to avenge her father’s death.
Hank introduced her to his Pym Particles and, using biochemistry, gave Janet the ability to grow insect-like wings when she shrinks herself to incest size. Now known as the superheroine Wasp, Janet assisted Hank in defeating Pilai, and from that moment, they were known as the crime-fighting duo Ant-Man and the Wasp.
As they were working together, Hank and Janet started falling in love with each other. Although, the way they ultimately got married is quite bizarre. One day, while he was working in the laboratory and thinking about how he wanted to marry Janet but couldn’t because he blamed himself for what happened to his first wife, Hank accidentally smashed vials containing various unknown gases. Under their influence, Hank experienced a severe personality change, becoming Yellowjacket.
As Yellowjacket, Hank kidnapped Janet and claimed that he killed Hank Pym, but once Janet realized that Yellowjacket was actually Hank, she decided to play along and accepted his marriage proposal since she was afraid that rejecting him would worsen his psychological condition.
Yellowjacket and Janet married at the Avengers Mansion, where the Ringmaster attacked them and the Avengers. Seeing Janet in a life-threatening situation, Hank managed to kick out his Yellowjacket persona and return to his former self. Although Hank married Janet while he was Yellowjacket, their marriage was still legal, and the couple decided to accept it.
Hank and Janet officially married in ‘Avengers’ #60 in November 1968 (cover-dated January 1969). However, their marriage ultimately crumbled after Hank was expelled from the Avengers, and Janet filed for divorce after he struck her in ‘Avengers’ #214 in 1981. Hank and Janet divorced two years after Scott Lang was first introduced (‘The Avengers’ #181 (March 1979) and became the second Ant-Man in ‘Marvel Premiere’ #47 (April 1979).
Even though Hank Pym adopted the mantle of the Wasp in ‘Secret Invasion: Requiem’ #1 (December 2008), the real successor of the Wasp is considered Nadia Van Dyne, Hank’s daughter from his marriage with Maria and Janet’s stepdaughter. The character was first introduced in May 2016, so almost a year after Hope Van Dyne was introduced as the original character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was revealed that Nadia was trained in the Red Room in Moscow after her mother was killed in Hungary.
The portrayal of two generations of Ant-Man and the Wasp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Ant-Man was introduced in the homonymous standalone movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, released in 2015. In the movie, Hank Pym is depicted as an older scientist who has already retired from his superhero life as Ant-Man, especially after his wife Janet went subatomic on their last mission.
Hank recruited an ex-con Scott Lang to help him steal the Yellowjacket from his former assistant Darren Cross. Hope Van Dyne, the movie’s original character, is depicted as Hank and Janet’s daughter, who became the second Wasp and Lang’s partner in the 2018’s sequel.
In his adventures as Ant-Man, Scott has defeated Yellowjacket and assisted Hank and Hope in saving Janet from the Quantum Realm. However, after Thanos’ snap, Scott was left stuck in the Quantum Realm while Hank, Janet, and Hope were all snapped away. In ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ thanks to some random rat, Scott got out and assisted the Avengers in saving the universe, along with Hope, after she came back thanks to Hulk’s snap.
In 2023’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,’ Scott, Hope, and Scott’s daughter Cassie, who eventually also became a superhero known as Stature, were all accidentally sent back to the Quantum Realm, where they faced off against Kang the Conqueror
Although they defeated him, it’s known that he’s going to be the main villain of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, and since Ant-Man and the Wasp were one of the first heroes that met him face to face, we presume they’ll have an important roles in future MCU installments, particularly in the upcoming crossover event ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.’
Despite being separated for more than 30 years after she went subatomic, Hank and Janet are still a married couple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Scott and Hope are currently in a relationship. On a personal level, it’s hard to know what’s to come for them, but we hope they’ll find their happy ending once they reach the end of their line in the MCU, whenever that happens.
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